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Perlman, Susan B.; Luna, Beatriz; Hein, Tyler C.; Huppert, Theodore J. (2013)
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Article
The experience of frustration is common in early childhood, yet some children seem to possess a lower tolerance for frustration than others. Characterizing the biological mechanisms underlying a wide range of frustration tolerance observed in early childhood may inform maladaptive behavior and psychopathology that is associated with this construct. The goal of this study was to measure prefrontal correlates of frustration in 3–5 year-old children, who are not readily adaptable for typical neuroimaging approaches, using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). fNIRS of frontal regions were measured as frustration was induced in children through a computer game where a desired and expected prize was “stolen” by an animated dog. A fNIRS general linear model (GLM) was used to quantify the correlation of brain regions with the task and identify areas that were statistically different between the winning and frustrating test conditions. A second-level voxel-based ANOVA analysis was then used to correlate the amplitude of each individual’s brain activation with measure of parent-reported frustration. Experimental results indicated increased activity in the middle prefrontal cortex during winning of a desired prize, while lateral prefrontal cortex activity increased during frustration. Further, activity increase in lateral prefrontal cortex during frustration correlated positively with parent-reported frustration tolerance. These findings point to the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex as a potential region supporting the regulation of emotion during frustration.
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